tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN March 18, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PDT
it's a busy news day, if you haven't noticed. brianna keilar starts right now. have a great afternoon. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now. after a 24-hour tweet binge, two people close to the president in the right wing have to defend his tweets and show that he is not a white supremacist. after personally attacking the late john mccain, lindsey graham gives a tepid defense of his best friend. and we're now learning the message president trump heard from the reverend. and joe biden is attempting to one-up beto o'rourke.
president trump is back in the news media blaming him for the attack in new zealand. he cited off a litany of grooefr answ -- grievances but said nothing about the attack that left 20 people dead. he said, the radical democrats working closely with their beloved partner, the u.s. fake media, is using every trick in the book to silence a majority of our country. he faulted the late john mccain, who died of brain cancer last year, and he complained about being parodied
on a "saturday night live" rerun. he tweeted, it's incredible that shows like "saturday night live," not funny, no talent, can knock a person like me over and
over without so much
as a mention of the other side. should the fcc look look into this? by the way, the "snl" episode was from december, before christmas. the new zealand attack has bhwhe house officials on the defensive, with this pushback from fox news. >> the president is not a white supremacist. i'm not sure how many times we have to say that. >> the husband of top white house counselor kellyanne conway also repeated his concerns about the president's mental state. george conway tweeting, quote, his condition is getting worse. kellyanne conway disagreeing with her husband's assessment. >> i know she has those concerns and i have four kids and i was getting out of the house this morning before i got here and talked to the president about substance, so i may not be up to speed on all of them. >> chief white house correspondent jim acosta is
joining us now. jim, what does it say that the top aides are defending the president's mental fitness and denying that he's a white supremacist? these are pretty extraordinary defenses to be out there with. >> reporter: bluttlabsolutely, brianna. i don't know what the president has been tweeting about over the weekend or going to the lengths that cnn officials have to go to to defend those tweets and defend what the chief of staff has been saying. we saw chief of staff mick mulvaney on the morning talk shows defending the president, like you said, saying the president is not a white supremacist. in any other administration, you just wouldn't hear that kind of thing being said by a chief of staff. earlier this morning, things got even more surreal. you saw the white house counselor kellyanne conway talking to reporters after she appeared on one of the other networks, and she was essentially fielding questions about the president's tweets from over the weekend.
dozens of tweets draeaddressing sorts of grievances, like i said said, from "saturday night live" to senator john mccain. the president has not defended john mccain, in fact, has done the opposite of that. perhaps the most surreal of all the moments this morning, brianna, is when kellyanne conway, as you played a few moments ago, addressed some of these tweets coming from her husband, george conway, a prominent attorney here in d.c. that almost joined the administration and decided not to, tweeting about what he believes is the president's mental disorders. i don't believe he's a psychologist, but he tweets that he thinks the president is unstable. we've seen it here in the oval
office and so on when the president talks about various things and addresses his various grievances. you heard kellyanne conway saying she doesn't voice those concerns and was busy getting her kids ready to go off to school. it's just a busy white house in terms of trying to address these sorts of questions and seeing senior officials like kellyanne conway and mick mulvaney have to go to these lengths to address the president's behavior. when i talked to white house officials privately, they will tell you, no, they don't believer the president is insane, they believe he's more crazy like a fox and that he sends out a lot of these tweets in an attempt to really drive out the narrative, and one thing we saw over the weekend is there was a lot more discussion about general motors, the way the president has responded to the terror attack in new zealand, and when you talk to people who were close and presently to
china, he wants those distractions out there so we're spending time talking about those sorts of things and not the thing that really strikes fear in this administration, and that's white house counsel robert mueller. brianna? >> jim acosta at the white house, thank you for that. i want to get into this tweet storm by president trump. we have julie hirschfeld with us and we have chief political analyst gloria borger. i am struggling to speak today. >> happy monday. >> here we are. i mean, what a twitter storm, gloria. when you look at all of the things that the president was talking about, because it almost felt like he was sending flak out to all these different targets, what did it tell you? >> it told me, number one, that he's probably watching a lot of tv and maybe we would be better off if the weather were warm and he could go play golf somewhere. and i think that he was so full of grievance on everything that
it was -- you know, it was stunning. our colleague manu raju tweet aid list of things that the president had tweeted about just by 3:00 on sunday, you know. fox news weekend anchors, he attacked mccain twice, gm, google, "saturday night live," christopher steele and on and on. and whatever was on a screen in front of him he had to talk about, and that's how he spent his day. one would think he might have tweeted against white supremacy, for example, after new zealand, but that wasn't on the list. >> what did you think? >> i think the key word, and gloria is right, is grievance. if you read down the list that manu tweeted earlier, that's the common thread here. these are things that he thinks -- "saturday night live," it's about how they targeted him even though it was months ago it actually aired. >> it was a previous christmas episode, by the way. >> he didn't see it.
>> he did. he tweeted criticisms when it aired the first time. >> but the point being, when he feels targeted, whenever that might be, that's when he lashes out. i do think there is something to what jim was saying earlier, he's like spraying a hose, and it's focusing people's attention on everything else but the mueller investigation and russia. he's tweeting about that as well, but i do think there is an element here of not just that he feels targeted because i think that's the core common thread through all of these things but also that he's trying to sort of throw things up against the wall and see what will stick. >> and some of it does stick, obviously, to that point and to jim's point, but at the same time when he tweets about all these things and then he doesn't tweet about white supremacy, ooufr g you've got two of his top aides being asked questions about that, that and his mental fitness, and that's not really -- because that's what
george conway was tweeting in response to was this twitter tirade. that's not where the aides want to be. that's a big part of the conversation, too. >> it's kind of stunning that you have to have the acting white house chief of staff, or whatever his title is, go on television and say, the president is not a white supremacist. >> and i don't know how many times i have to say that. >> exactly. i don't know how many times i have to say that. and obviously kellyanne conway was tweeting about the president's alleged mental illness had to say, no, no, the president is fine. it's kind of stunning that it has come to this, that is what we're talking about right now? >> i want to talk to you about something that he threatened when it came to the "snl" thing because this is pretty serious. when he's threatening action by the seco t or the fcc, this is something for him to hit
television with blunt objects with. >> they use it is to stifle their opponents. putin has done that in russia. that is the reason why you have to look at some of these things and say, yeah, he's spouting off, he may not be serious. i think that's one of the ways in which he's sort of trying to get a rise out of people. i know when he says things like that, oh, my goodness. >> and the justice department hasn't behaved and the fbi hasn't behaved the way he thinks they should. he treats them as his personal attorneys when, in fact, they work for the people of the united states and not for donald trump directly. >> indeed they do. gloria borger, julia hirschfeld,
thank you so much. lindsey graham offers up a pretty tough defense of john mccain, the war hero. plus, beto o'rourke breaks campaign furndraindraising in 2 hours. steve king sharing a meme that depicts a modern-day civil war. menew infallible full weards concealer by l'oreal. with an extra-large applicator
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million in its first day. kamala harris a distant third there with $1.5 million. o'rourke is raking in the money but he's also trying to recover for some missteps. he apologized for a comment that his wife was raising their children, quote, sometimes with my help. >> it has already made me a better candidate. not only will i not say that again, but i'll be much more thoughtful going forward in the way that i talk about our marriage and also the way in which i acknowledge the truth of the criticism that i have enjoyed white privileged. absolutely undeniable. >> o'rourke also apologized for teenage writings that he described as really hateful, bad stuff. >> i'm mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed. but i have to take ownership of my words ask understand underst
they make people feel when they read them now. >> we have senior political analyst mark preston live from jackson, mississippi with us. so mark, i do want to talk about this apology tour because it's significant, but first, let's talk about this fundraising haul. $6.1 million. how significant is that? >> it's very significant. when you look at a field that's going to be likely 20 people or in the range of 20 people, you're going to need money to keep the car moving. money for gasoline, to pay for staff, to pay for travel, to pay for television advertisements. so when you see the fundraising haul from kamala harris which -- she did that early, too, she did that in january. that was a good number for her as well, but gosh, you look at bernie sanders and you look at what beto o'rourke has pulled in, that really does say something about their appeal right now to the real liberal base in the democratic party and the willingness for them to part with money out of their own pocket in $25, you know, $50 checks.
>> so he's got this cash flowing in which is significant, but then he's apologizing for this, that and everything under the sun. you know, you can contrast that -- president trump's approach is apologize for nothing and beto o'rourke's seems to be apologize for everything. >> there is a real humbleness from o'rourke now. i don't think it's going to hurt him. when he said my wife is raising our children with my help a little bit, he was acknowledging the campaign has taken hichl m the trail, and as a member of congress, he's not around a lot, so there is an incredible reliance on his wife to handle things at home. to say i should have done this, i should have done that, i apologize and i'll do better, i think people in this day and age will hear that and move on.
make sure you don't miss cnn's town hall tonight with senator elizabeth warren moderated by jake tapper right here on cnn at 9:00 eastern. new zealand prime minister is announcing gun reforms within 10 days there. also the president refuses to call out white nationalism, one democrat insisting that is isl isl isl isla islamaphobia on both sides of the aisle. hey mercedes, how about letting your hair down a little? how about a car for people who don't play golf? hey mercedes! mix it up a little. how about something for a guy who doesn't want a corner office? hey mercedes, i don't even own a tie. do you think i need a mahogany dashboard? hey mercedes, can you make it a little cooler in here?
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. there is a manhunt underway as we speak after a gunman opened fire inside a tram in the dutch city of utrecht. three people are dead, nine people are injured according to the city's mayor and police are looking for a 37-year-old turkish man that you see in this picture. they are considering a possible terror motive in the shootings. officials are also raising the country's threat level to critical, and they've increased security at mosques and transit stations around the city. new zealand's prime minister is promising new and tighter gun laws and fast. she said her cabinet has agreed in principle that within ten days of two attacks on mosques, they will make the country safer.
there is also a probe on whether the government should have known about the suspect and whether the massacre could have been prevented. more than 30 victims at this point are still in a christ church hospital. where does this investigation stand now? >> reporter: authorities have been very tight-lipped about where they're going next. they have confirmed to the public here there was only one gunman. that seems obvious. the question here is in any way did the gunman have any logistics or financial support? we're also learning joining the most largest investigative team ever assembled here in new zealand are now international members. that includes australia. that makes sense because the governments from australia earlier today carried out search warrants in two homes that are believed to have belonged to family members of the government. there again, possibly looking into whether any family members
supported his efforts or whether they had any prior knowledge fortunate attack that he was planning and carried out. the fbi is also involved, and that is the u.s. fbi, and that's interesting. does it mean there could be a dual nationality of any of the victims that hasn't been revealed yet? there is no shortage of experience that the fbi has when it comes to investigating hate crimes and mass shootings back in the united states, sadly, so maybe it's just their expertise that's called upon, or could there be a connection to hate groups or anywhere else in the united states? the authorities have not made that clear. then there is the investigation just overall to figure out if there were red flags missed. did law enforcement somehow miss something, did the public smis something? is there some way the worst modern-day massacre in new zealand history could have been avoided if somebody had seen something sooner. that's what the prime minister wants to know, that's what she ordered, and then there are the changes in the laws when it comes to gun ownership. that is moving very quickly,
within ten days, she believes. if you look through the lens of how things have happened in america, how long this conversation has continued in the aftermath of so many mass shootings, ten days. and, in fact, she promised within hours after the first deaths. brianna? >> martin savage, thank you so much, reporting from new zealand. the manifesto believed to be written by the new zealand suspect lays out anti-muslim and anti-immigrant views. there is also talk in the paper about the inspiration gained from white nationalists. when asked about it, president trump says he doesn't see white nationalism as a major problem. >> what do you think about white nationalism and the rising threat around the world? >> i don't really. i think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. i guess if you look at what happened in new zealand, perhaps that's a case. i don't know enough about it yet. they're just learning about the person and the people involved,
but it's certainly a terrible thing, terrible thing. >> we have maryland senator ben cardin joining us from baltimore. when you hear that, senator, what do you think of what the president is saying, that he doesn't see white nationalism as a rising global threat? >> brianna, first it's good to be with you. america is in our values. we embrace diversity, there is no room for hate, and the president needs to articulate those values. president trump over and over again has missed that opportunity. in fact, he's taken us in the wrong direction. this is not new for him to not acknowledge white supremacist. he has given oxygen to hate in america, and that is inexcusable for the president of the united states. >> when you give briefings, obviously, in your role as a senator and on certain committees, you are seeking out information about foreign affairs. is it your understanding that
white nationalism is a rising global threat? >> there is no question that it is. i'm the special representative for any semitism, racism and tolerance in the osce, which is europe and the united states. and we've seen a major increase in hate crimes against jews, against african-americans, against minority groups. so though it's not just against muslims, it's against rising tide, against white supremacists who see it as their mission. >> i want to get your opinion of what congresswoman tlaib said. here's what she said. >> the fact there is not only one but three muslims serving in american congress, that our mere presence is going to be evil to possibly break down any of these kind of racialized opinions,
this islamophobia that i see as very present on both sides of the aisle. >> she's saying islamophobia is also pleresent on the democrati side and it's an attack on ilhan omar, the other muslim in congress. when you see this, do you see islamophobia at play? >> ilhan omar's comments were flat wrong. they needed to be called out and they were called out. let's stay focused on american values. american values embrace diversity, there is no room for hate. we all need to take responsibility through our words and deeds to make it clear that we won't tolerate hate. but i come back to the president of the united states. our challenge is not a political party, it's more the president of the united states who has really missed so many opportunities from charlottesville to now in new zealand to call out white supremacists, what they are, a threat to this country, a
dangerous threat. >> so he went on a twitter rant over the weekend. he continued some of it today, the president did, and he went after one of your former colleagues, the late senator john mccain. he also falsely said mccain finished last in his class at the naval academy. he falsely claimed that mccain gave the steele dossier to the media. what do you think when you hear him? you're someone who spent many years in the senate with john mccain. what do you think about these attacks? >> to me it's horrible to hear the president of the united states talk about a true american patriotic hero the way he has about john mccain. john mccain and i didn't agree on a lot of issues philosophically, but we were partners in promoting american values and standing up for human rights and getting the global c mcnitsky and the next mcnitsky passed. he has shown his respect with each individual during the debate with president obama or
candidate obama. nobody will forget how he defended the values of this country, by the way. he corrected the question that was asked of him. john mccain is a hero and what president trump did is inexcusable. >> you say what president trump did is inexcusable. i wonder if maybe -- you also have spent many years with lindsey graham in the senate, so i was hoping maybe you could give us some understanding or perspective of the fact that this is his best friend, john mccain, and he tweeted out a defense of john mccain but i doesn't call the president out by name. what do you make of that? >> well, lindsey graham is an interesting person. he's a friend of mine. we've done a lot of business together. he has a method about how he expresses himself. that is not how i would express myself. but he's a very passionate person. very much motivated by what's in the best interest of this country, and he is a protege of senator mccain, there is no
question about that. >> congresswoman ilhan omar wrote an op-ed. she called for a two-state solution for mideast peace. i wonder what you think about the possibility of mideast peace with the president being benjamin netanyahu saying it's only for the jewish people and then the white nation having only support for netanyahu. do you think peace can be achieved? >> the only way we're going to move forward with peace between the palestinians and the israelis are two states living side by side in peace, a palestinian state and a jewish state. the two-state solution is the only way you can have lasting peace in the middle east. i strongly support that effort. let's recognize that the prime minister is in the middle of a campaign. i certainly don't condone, in fact, i've criticized the manner in which he's conducted his campaign in israel, but he's in the midst of a campaign. we saw this the last time he ran for office. i think the leadership of israel recognizes that the only way for peace in the middle east is two
states. we also need the palestians to embrace that. we've had challenges with palestinian leadership in really sitting down seriously and talking about a peace process. >> do you worry about the chances for this? >> absolutely. the longer this drags out, the more challenges we're going find in the middle east. i can't tell you how many leaders i met from middle east countries who tell me that once peace is achieved between the palestinians and the israelis, it opens up incredible opportunity in that region. there are a lot of countries who want to do business with israel, who are holding out because of the failure of the peace process. it's in the interest of the israelis, it's in the interest of the palestinians to move the peace process as quickly as possible. is that likely in this political environment? no. with the elections in israel and the failure of leadership on the palestinian side, no. but we have the responsibility to keep the peace process alive, recognizing the path forward is two states living side by side in peace, and let us try and find a way that we can break
through the stalemate. >> senator ben cardin, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you, brianna. republican congressman steve king is at it again. this time he's posting a meme that depicts a modern day civil war. plus, in the middle of his twitter binge, the president made a trip to church. and we're now hearing what the reverend preached. we'll have the tape ahead. very . failure is not an option. more than half of employees across the country bring financial stress to work. if you're stressed out financially at home, you're going to be too worried to be able to do a good job. i want to be able to offer all of the benefits that keep them satisfied. it is the people that is really the only asset that you have. put your employees on a path to financial wellness with prudential. bring your challenges. every baby can have the freedom to move their way in pampers cruisers with three-way fit they adapt at the waist, legs and bottom
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you. dutch authorities say they have arrested the suspected gunman who opened fire inside a tram in the dutch city of utrecht. three people were killed, nine were injured. that according to the city's mayor and dutch officials are considering possible terror moefs motives in this shooting. controversial steve king is at it again, and this time the iowa senator shared a meme of red and blue states with two people fighting. it says, folks keep talking about another civil war. one side has about 18 trillion bullets while the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use. king asked who would win. we have our michael warren here with me now to discuss this. this is par for the course for steve king, but this would be, if you just consider from a member of congress, unusual and largely unacceptable. >> that's right. steve king has a very active facebook page that he runs, a personal page.
eads posting memes and other images, sometimes just harmless trolling of democrats and liberals, and sometimes it bubbles up a lot of ideas and memes from the internet world that steve king is very much a part of. this is par for the course. he seems to spend a lot of time focused on sharing these sort of things that get a lot of likes, a lot of engagement from his fans including a meme just last week of a man wearing a biker shirt seeming to threaten with sort of physical violence a bernie sanders supporter wearing a shirt with bernie sanders' face on it. >> that's significant because of the timing. the president evoked the idea of bikers. he talked about this last week. let's listen. oh, sorry. this is a full screen, it's not a sound bite, but here's what he
said. i can tell you i have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the bikers for trump. i have the tough people but they don't play it tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very bad, very bad. this is the president saying that. >> right. >> it's extraordinary. maybe not for this president -- that a president would talk about that. >> and this idea of a civil war between left and right, or blue states and red states, the idea of a sort of second amendment that people would need to have guns so sort of fight back in some sort of resistance to a deep state or the government, even though donald trump is head of the executive branch. this is a very common theme among sort of, again, the internet world, the fever swamps of the internet world. what is different about this is that it's trickling all the way up to elected members of congress and even the president of the united states. that's what is so unusual. this is the sort of stuff that would normally be stuck in news
lette letters that people pass around. with the internet it has a very big platform. >> mike warren, thank you so much. really appreciate it. colorado could make history in 2020. they are joining 11 other states that are looking to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. we'll tell you what this could mean for the presidential election. plus, is the battle to push isis out of its last enclave in syria rages inside, cnn goes to the last outpost camp. pardon the interruption but this is big! now with t-mobile get the samsung galaxy s10e included with unlimited data for just $40 a month.
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make voting history in the next general election. colorado is joining 11 other states that want to award their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote. most states have winner take all laws that give the electoral college votes to the person who wins the popular vote within the state. colorado's law only goes into effect if enough other states sign on to add up to at least 270 votes which would be enough to elect the president. so far a dozen states and the district of columbia have signed on to this bringing the current total of no votes to 181. the law is likely to spark a court fight since it is enshrined in the constitution. i want to talk about this with senior analyst ross garber. tell me whether this could even stand a challenge. >> the whole electoral process is in the constitution, and the notion of states giving up their
rights to set up their votes in the electoral college raises the question, isn't that an end run around the constitution? most legal scholars have looked at it, and inasmuch as i've looked at it, i think it withstands scrutiny on that point. states in the constitution are allowed to decide what happens with their electoral votes, and if they decide that the way they're going to allocate their electoral votes is based on the popular national vote, i think that's probably okay. >> they're not getting rid of the electoral college. >> that's exactly right. >> they're working around the current configuration of where the electoral votes go. >> yeah, the constitution doesn't say, here's how the states have to do it, here's how the states don't have to do it, the states get to decide. i think that's the issue. there is a second issue, though. the second issue is around the constitution, any agreements or contacts around states have to be approved by congress. this scheme, even if it were approved
not withstanding the supreme court cases that say that doesn't work unless federal interests are interfered with, i think that's a bigger issue. i think that this agreement, if it were to pass on the states, would still have to be approved by congress. >> okay. so you look at this and how it would impact 2016. that's the obvious question. but when you look back, there are folks who will remind the president, much to his chagrin, that he lost the popular vote, and that seems to be the point of this. >> now, that's exactly this. what he'll say in fair ps is he wasn't trying to win the popular vote. he'll say he knew what the game was. the game was to win the electoral college. if he wanted to, he could have, he'll say. who knows. the bottom line is if this were the game, it would change how all the rules are fought and it would change how campaigns are
run in a very interesting way, right, because right now you've got a few swing states that decide the whole thing. >> exactly. >> you know. presidential candidates don't visit a whole bunch of states, they don't run ads in a whole bunch of states. if the popular vote were the one that mattered, that would change that game. the presidential candidates would have to go across to every state and it would be different. >> very different. ross, thanks so much for explaining that to us. he took a little break from twitter and headed to church and we now know what the priest said. and he demands fox put her back on the air. liberty mutual accident forgiveness
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he tweet eed on the border wall and took a break. what happened in those three-plus hours? he went to church. that's right. before he went on to call out a local union chief retweet among other things that he hates john mccain and ended with all caps make america great again, he was sitting in the pew, the presidents pew with his wife listening to a sermon about courage, envy, and the importance of confronting hateful rhetoric in the wake of the attack on two mosques that killed 50 people in "news to me" on frid in new zealand. st. john's posted online. here's some of what they head. >> perhaps we're called whenever we over hear or oversee hateful
slurs against other people. perhaps we need the holy courage to call them out and say that's just not us, there's just not the way we are. it's not easy to confront someone, but i know darn good and well that sometime at work or in the grocery store or in a restaurant or sometimes even around the dining room table, somebody says something that is downright offensive, and i'm the first one to kind of just let it pass because i'm a peacemaker, but maybe we shouldn't be so ready to do that. we don't want to stop, put an end to hateful rhetoric because it's a nice thing to do or because it offends our sensibilities or because it's not in accordance with the first
amendment. we need to stop that stuff because it's a sin against the gospel. it takes courage, i know. but it's up to us. courage is contagious. and acting courageously, especially in the light of some kind of speech like that catches on and spreads. >> after hearing that, the president and the first lady greeted parishioners around them during what's called the passing of the peace. then they received communion and they left, and at 1:38 p.m., the president began tweeting again. that does it for me. newsroom with brooke baldwin starts right now. all right, brianna, we'll take it. thank you so much. you're watching brooke baldwin on this monday afternoon. the t
tweets from the president. he went after fox news management, some fox news anchors, general motors, alive, the late senator john mccain. and you'll hear how low he went against the war hero that died from brain cancer last month. among them robert mueller, the news media, and an sent here in all of trump's managers have been any words of condemnation after a white supremacist massacred 50 people inside mosques friday in new zealand. now trump's online onslaught has forced him to defend twho, insisting the president of the united states is not a bigot. >> he has